The “war for talent”t is raging. Manufacturers are facing a massive labor shortage as they struggle to recruit and retain skilled workers following the pandemic. Despite increasing demand for products, many manufacturers have been forced to reduce production.
However, not all companies are shrinking in the face of this challenge. These manufacturers are thriving thanks to a smart factory approach to engaging and retaining workers. The result is increased productivity and efficiency.
What is a smart factory approach?
A smart factory approach to the labor shortage focuses on three key factors of success:
- Strategic recruiting
- Engaging and retaining talent
- Utilizing purpose-built systems
Let’s take a look at these key factors and how they can be implemented to ensure that talent is retained and efficiently utilized.
How strategic recruiting works
It’s important that manufacturers invest in the right technology if they want to bring in top talent. Digital transformation is leading the way to success. Smart factory technology measures real-time data so that manufacturers can optimize production for non-stop improvement. A business using modern technology is at a major advantage in recruiting forward-thinking talent as well.
Smart factory technologies do the following:
- Labor cost tracking
- Continuous improvement
- Root cause analysis
- Advanced AI-driven reporting
- Empower employees on the shop floor
- Shop floor to top floor visibility
How to engage and retain talent
Engaging employees from the very start of the hiring and on-boarding process is crucial to employee retention. Having a consistent onboarding program for new employees clarifies their position and productive role within the manufacturing process. Streamlining training allows them to jump in immediately, increasing overall efficiency.
Additionally, workplace culture is becoming more and more important to employees. With more options for work out there, people are choosing comfortable workplace environments where they are valued and given an active role.
Smart factory technology engages employees by giving them the opportunity to provide feedback and participate in a culture that’s centered around consistent improvement. Focusing on the metrics for success can build enterprise-wide engagement and create a culture of cooperation at every level of the manufacturing business.
The importance of utilizing purpose-built systems
Advanced labor analytics and root cause analysis allow manufacturers to connect machine data to labor needs. Having accurate, real-time information can help to locate discrepancies between actual performance and targets. Adjustments can also be made on an ongoing basis to optimize employee efficiency.
Smart factory technology brings downtime issues to the attention of management.This means employees can be added or reassigned as needed. This technology helps avoid unnecessary hiring during a major labor shortage while leveraging the talent and skills of those who are already employed.
It’s through a smart factory approach that workers are engaged from the beginning of the recruiting process and through the entire manufacturing process, increasing employee efficiency and retention.